Solar Eclipse Viewing an Overwhelming Success

On Monday August 21, 2017, the Department of Physics and Astronomy hosted a viewing of the partial eclipse on University College hill and the Cronyn observatory. Undeterred by the heat more than 5000 visitors of all ages, both the public and members of the Western community, came out to enjoy the show creating a festival atmosphere for the afternoon. Nature cooperated with clear skies offering magnificent views throughout the nearly three-hour event, where 75% of the sun was covered by the moon at the maximum of the eclipse. Several telescopes were set up along the walkway on the hill, as well as demonstrations of safe projection methods, while at Cronyn the Sun's image was projected through our 25.4 cm refractor, and a live stream from the path of totality was broadcast in a classroom in the Engineering building next to the Observatory.

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A big thank you to the volunteers from the Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, who handled the large, enthusiastic crowd of anxious eclipse seekers with grace and professionalism, distributing viewing glasses, information sheets and much-needed water, and helping make an already unforgettable day even more so. The event would not have been possible without their efforts and dedication. Particular thanks go to Prof. Jan Cami for organizing the event and PhD candidate Robin Arnason for running operations on the day.

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[google photos of the event]

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